Here are news and opinion stories educators, advocates, policy wonks and makers are talking about today:

Does Trump’s Education Budget Even Matter?
President Trump’s proposed federal budget, unveiled Monday, calls for major cuts to existing education programs and a huge increase for school-choice initiatives. The first question stemming from his blueprint is this: How seriously will Congress take his administration’s plan, even with Republicans controlling both chambers? (The Atlantic)

It isn’t ‘fake’, but education media coverage sure does show bias
In an era rife with heated talk of “fake news”, media bias, and the role reporters play in safeguarding democracy, it’s a propitious time for news coverage to be self-evidently fair-minded and trustworthy. Unfortunately, at least when it comes to education — the field we know best — that’s not been the case of late. Rather, coverage of major developments in influential outlets has been imbued with overt slant. (The Hill)

Science education funding still in Trump’s crosshairs, despite being saved by Congress
Days after Congress passed a budget that mostly preserves funding for science education, President Donald Trump released a new budget proposal for 2019 that would eliminate many of those same programs. Trump’s budget proposal, released on Monday, was drawn up before Congress passed its two-year deal last week. Although Congress already approved a budget, Trump’s proposal can offer funding priorities within approved budget caps, and it lays out his overall vision for the country. It calls for a $26 billion increase in defense spending next year, but $5 billion in cuts to non-defense programs, including a 10.5 percent cut to the Department of Education. (EdSource)

Poll finds southern voters want more education spending
The majority of voters in 12 Southern states said they see differences in the quality of education across the South, and said states need to adjust funding to improve outcomes in these states, according to the results of a newly-released poll. The poll, which was released along with the new report, “Accelerating the Pace: The Future of Education in the American South,” was published by a group of education nonprofits from seven Southern states. The poll asked voters about their awareness of the quality of education, their thoughts on school funding, and feelings about who should take action to reduce inequality. (The Hechinger Report)

To fight poverty in U.S., Bill and Melinda Gates say they may move beyond education
Bill and Melinda Gates say they are rethinking how they address poverty in the U.S. — a move that could have them expand their influential philanthropic efforts beyond education. The couple’s philanthropy has had an outsized influence on U.S. schools over the last two decades, as they’ve given hundreds of millions to encourage new models for high schools, the Common Core standards, and sweeping changes to teacher evaluation. In a letter released Tuesday, though, they indicate that they’re grappling with how improving education alone isn’t enough to move people out of poverty, and their strategy may be about to shift as a result. (Chalkbeat)

Christina approves Wilmington schools agreement, consolidating city schools
The Christina School Board on Tuesday approved a partnership agreement that calls for consolidating five Wilmington schools into two, shifting students from Pulaski, Stubbs and Elbert-Palmer elementary schools to Bancroft Elementary and Bayard Middle School by fall 2019. Elizabeth Paige and John Young both voted against the memorandum of understanding. Angela Mitchell abstained from voting, while Harrie Ellen Minnehan, Fred Polaski, Meredith Griffin and George Evans voted in favor of moving forward with the reconfiguration plan. (Delaware Online)

Two for the price of one
When Craig Okahara-Olsen graduates from Waiakea High School this spring, he’ll not only receive a diploma — he’ll also be on track to complete an associate degree. “I never thought I’d (graduate with an associate),” the 18-year-old Okahara-Olsen said in a recent phone interview. “When I was younger I just kind of thought I’d graduate from high school (only) but taking college courses has really pushed me.”Okahara-Olsen is one of hundreds of Hawaii Island seniors who will start college in the fall with some amount of college credit under their belt. They are participants in dual credit programs offered at high schools around the island which allow teens to earn college and high school credit for the same class. (West Hawaii Today)

What if schools focused on improving relationships rather than test scores?
University of Georgia education professor Peter Smagorinsky wrote a piece last year about a promising young teacher who chose to leave education. She has now returned to the classroom but in a different Georgia district. In this column, Smagorinsky explains how her new district, with a focus on enhancing relationships rather than test scores, has revitalized her enthusiasm for teaching. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

New Mexico
New Mexico charter schools show high levels of diversity
There are 99 charter schools in New Mexico, as of the 2016-17 school year, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. The alliance measures new charters, closed charters and the growth in charter schools around the country. At that same time, there were nearly 7,000 charter schools in the nation. Charter schools operate under a “charter,” which outlines “the school’s mission, program, students served, performance goals and methods of assessment,” according to (Albuquerque Business First)

New York
NYC’s Special Education Crisis, Where 1 in 4 Families Doesn’t Receive Guaranteed Services and Students Are Forced to Wait 60 Days (or More) for IEP Meetings
Nearly 50,000 New York City students were denied special education services to which they were legally entitled in the 2016–17 school year. That means that more than one-quarter of city children who were assigned specialized programs didn’t take part in them. The finding comes from the city Department of Education’s annual report on special education, which was instituted by the City Council two years ago in the wake of mass complaints from parents and advocacy groups. (The 74)

Montgomery County school officials adopt ‘inclusivity’ statement
The Montgomery County School Board has adopted an “inclusivity” statement that local members of a Charlottesville-based activist organization had for months asked the district to accept and distribute. The school board this past week unanimously approved the document that, among other points, promises to “nurture an environment of inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination” on the basis of numerous factors that include race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, pregnancy and medical condition. (The Roanoke Times)

Mimi Woldeyohannes is the Executive Assistant to the CEO at 50CAN. She lives in Maryland.


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